Carte Blanche and Hallmark return to Spring Fair

The organiser of Spring Fair International, Emap Connect, is proud to announce that two of the UK’s leading suppliers to the greetings trade – Carte Blanche Group and Hallmark – will return to the exhibition in 2012.

Commenting on the company’s decision to exhibit at the show once again, the head of product development for Carte Blanche Group, Steve Blakemore, said: “The acquisitions we have made in the last 12 months have been a catalyst for us to come back to Spring Fair in 2012 as the timing is perfect to showcase the enhanced strength and depth of the CBG Group in terms of the brands & products within it.

“Spring Fair  gives us a significant platform to demonstrate on a big stage that we are no longer just about the great Carte Blanche brands of Me to You, My Blue Nosed Friends and Violent Veg that we are so well known for. Hugely successful though they are we now also have some fabulous additions to the company in Wishing Well, Hotchpotch, 4D Art and Lello too.

“We will be pulling together the full portfolio in one major showcase for the first time under the “Group” banner and getting across the message to our UK and international customers that the Carte Blanche Group has built up a compelling multi-brand offering across many key categories and genres, in both 2D and 3D products.

“We will be launching lots of exciting new products at the fair, reinforcing our commitment to building on the successes within our extended brand portfolio. It will be great to be back in 2012 and we look forward to a fantastic week sharing with our new and existing customers the major part Carte Blanche Group can play in the success of their own business. We invite all visitors to come along to our stand and take a look – we think they’ll be impressed.”

Speaking of Hallmark’s decision to return to Spring Fair with its full product portfolio, PR and CSR Manager Tamsyn Johnston Hughes said the company has overhauled its business structure and now intends to concentrate on two distinct areas, the mass market and specialist independent retail channels.

“The focus for Hallmark at Spring Fair will be very much on the independent retail trade”, says Johnston, adding that: “We want to come back to the show so we can tell everyone what we’re doing on this front. The exhibition will help mark the occasion of the iconic Hallmark Forever Friends brand’s 25th anniversary.”

Spring Fair Greetings & Stationery event director Alison Graham says she is delighted that the greetings giants are returning to the UK’s premier retail trade exhibition, commenting:

“We are so excited to be welcoming Carte Blanche Group and Hallmark to the show. As two of the largest and best known suppliers in the greetings card industry their presence at Spring Fair International 2012 reinforces the fact that this show is the prime destination for any greetings and stationery buyers looking to source new products”.

“Carte Blanche and Hallmark have some of the best selling and most iconic branded products available to this sector of the industry and we can’t wait to see what they will bring to the show next year”.

236 greetings card and stationery suppliers are already signed up for Spring Fair International 2012, including 30 companies that have never exhibited there before, such as: Peartree Heybridge, Tracy Russell Greetings, Rosanna Rossi, Design Hog, Cremated Egg, Jo Stockdales Country Images, Oliver Preston, Tangerine Dreams, Cherry Pie Designs, Alison Gardiner Designs, Linda Wood Designs, Cartilla and Pol Mak.

Along with CBG and Hallmark, other leading suppliers at the event will include Ling Design, Simon Elvin, Nigel Quiney, The Great British Card Company, Really Good, Santoro and Roger la Borde. When the show opens its doors on February 5th 2012 there will be approximately 340 Greetings & Stationery exhibitors in Hall 4 of The NEC.

“The greetings industry support for Spring Fair has been phenomenal, added Graham, “they’re really embracing the changes we’re putting in place for 2012, which will see this sector of the show completely transformed – refreshed, revived and ready to do some serious business – in the coming year.”

The Greetings & Stationery sector of the show will move from Hall 3 to Hall 4 in 2012, in line with a major transformation of Spring Fair that will see almost every sector of the show re-edited and re-located for this milestone year.

In addition to the strategic hall move, Greetings & Stationery at Spring Fair will benefit from wider, boulevard-style aisles to make viewing products a pleasure, and distinct zoning for sub-categories Giftwrap & Bags and Cards for Gift Shops.

Smaller stands for new publishers and niche companies will be given prominent positions along the front of the boulevards, where central seating areas will provide some rest and relaxation – with a great vantage point – for visiting buyers.

Retailers in this sector simply won’t be able to resist this fantastic home-coming for Greetings & Stationery at Spring Fair International 2012.